The Delhi High Court has today sought a response from the Delhi Government in a plea challenging various amendments brought about by it in the New Excise Policy for 2021-2022. The matter was listed before the bench comprising Chief Justice D.N. Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh.
The plea has been filed through Advocate Vijay Sharma by All India Bhrashtachar Virodhi Morcha, a registered NGO. At the outset, the new Excise Policy was introduced by the Delhi Government in June this year and was made available in the public domain on July 5, 2021. The said policy divided Delhi into 32 zones, comprising 27 liquor vends each, for the purpose of issuance of licenses.
On June 28, 2021, the Delhi Government floated a tender, inviting e-bids for grant of 32 zonal retail licenses for the year 2021-22 through e-tendering process for the sale of Indian and Foreign Liquor in the region of NCT of Delhi, on the basis of the newly approved policy.
The plea avers the petitioner organization filed an RTI application asking for information on the new excise policy. Subsequently, on July 12’ 2021, the petitioner organization made a representation against the new policy, however, no action has been taken on his representation as yet.
The plea seeks to quash of the provision relating to a reduction in the age for consumption of liquor, as also the provision which mentions the sale of foreign liquor and Indian-made foreign liquor only through privately-owned vends and not through Government-owned vends.
The plea states thus: “The petitioner is working in the society at the grassroot level and there is an opinion among a lot of people hat reducing the age for consumption of liquor is going to increase alcoholism amongst students and younger generation of the society and the closure of the Government vends is a decision which is not in the public interest.”
The Bench issued notice and slated the matter for hearing on September 17.